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Spicy Peanut Couscous

PostPosted: 20 Oct 2009, 18:52
by Steve
This side is great both hot and cold. I like it cold, served up as a side to some nice barbecued lamb with some yogurt dip and salad.

Prep time is about ten minutes if you are quick with a knife. Cooking time is only five to ten minutes before you can leave it to rest. For larger servings just factoring up ingredients is fine.

Ok on with the recipe...

Ingredients - Serves four to six as a side

1 cup couscous
1 1/2 cups good vegetable/chicken stock (homemade is best)
1 finely chopped red onion (1/2 if it's a big one)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced ( I grate on a fine microplane grater, works really well)
1 red pepper diced
1 red chili, de-seeded and chopped finely
A handful of Petit Pois, frozen are fine, as are normal peas

1/2 tsp ground cumin (freshly toasted and ground is far better but straight out of a jar is good enough)
1 tsp of Hot Smoked Paprika (or sweet paprika if you don't want that extra heat)
Optional 1 tsp powdered chipotle chillies ( gives a nice smokey flavour and some heat)

1/2 cup good quality crunchy peanut butter
Optional 1 tbsp dry white wine or dry vermouth

2 tbsp cooking oil, I use red palm and canola but olive oil would be good
Optional A knob of butter for cooking and one for stirring through at the end, no more than 1/2 Oz total.


1. In a medium sized saucepan, heat the oil over a medium/high heat
2. Add red pepper and chili pepper, stir quickly for 30 secs to one minute to soften
3. Add red onion (and one knob of butter if using it) and lower heat, sweat the onions for a minute or two
4. Add garlic and continue to sweat the onions until they are just translucent, be careful with heat here or your garlic will burn and go bitter.
5. If using wine add now and stir through
6. Add all spices and stir
7. Add stock and bring to boil
8. Stir or whisk in the peanut butter until it dissolves
9. Add the peas, season to taste and bring to the boil.
10 Stir in couscous and return to the boil stirring constantly.
11 Remove from heat, cover and leave for ten minutes.

12 When you return all of the cooking liquor should have been absorbed, at this point the couscous should be stirred gently and then either drizzle a little more oil through or put a knob of butter in and continue to stir until it melts.

13 Transfer to a dish and either serve or leave to cool.

Hope anyone who tries this likes it.